When your personal limits make it necessary for you to alter your workspace to make it possible to perform your job duties, you have the right to request reasonable accommodations for the workspace. This right is guaranteed by a few different laws, including the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. You do not have to be disabled to request a reasonable accommodation, though. Pregnant individuals, individuals with illnesses, and individuals whose religious practices put demands on their dress, personal appearance, and schedule may also seek reasonable accommodations in the workplace. Failing to provide an employee with the accommodations he or she seeks is an act of discrimination.
It is important to note the term “reasonable.” A reasonable accommodation is one that does not put an undue burden on the employer, financial or otherwise. For example, a schedule alteration that makes it necessary for an employee’s colleagues to take on an unfair workload is not a reasonable accommodation. Neither is an accommodation that would require a small company to make a million dollar renovation to its building.
Why are you Making the Request?
You have the right to request a reasonable accommodation for certain needs, such as your pregnancy or your religious practices. You cannot request accommodations for issues outside these areas, like your personal preferences. To determine if your request is reasonable, as yourself the following:
- Does my pregnancy or other medical condition make it impossible or considerably more difficult to perform my job without the accommodation in place?
- Would attending work, engaging in certain activities, or wearing a specific work uniform conflict with my personal religious beliefs?
- If my request is approved, will I use it to become a more productive worker, or am I simply looking for a way to make my job easier?
What Does your Request Ask of your Employer?
The other part of determining a request’s reasonability is determining what it asks of the employer. A few examples of reasonable accommodations an employer can provide include:
- Making a building wheelchair-accessible;
- Permitting an employee to work a flexible schedule that makes it possible for him or her to attend doctor appointments or religious services;
- Reassigning a pregnant employee to less physically strenuous work;
- Altering an employee uniform to comply with religious modesty standards, such as a head covering; and
- Providing a blind employee with equipment that makes it possible for him or her to read work-related documents.
Work with an Experienced Illinois Employment Lawyer
As an American employee, you have the right to request reasonable accommodations for your needs in the workplace. If you feel your request was unreasonably denied or if you faced termination or another form of retaliation for requesting an accommodation, work with an experienced employment lawyer to seek justice and compensation for your damages. Contact our team at The Law Office of Mitchell A. Kline today to set up your initial consultation with us.